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Doctors warning people in Dorset to get flu jabs
DOCTORS are warning people in Dorset to get their flu jabs amid a rising number of cases in the county.
GPs are reminding people to get vaccinated – not just to protect themselves but to protect other vulnerable members of the community.
GP Chris McCall said: “We are reminding local people to get protected against flu as we are seeing a rise in cases in some parts of the area.
“The flu virus is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through small, contaminated droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person.
“Unlike a cold, the symptoms of flu come on very quickly and include a fever and aching joints and muscles.
“Whilst you may not feel ill it is all too easy to pass it on to other people who could be vulnerable and may ultimately develop complications.
“To help stop the spread of flu there are a few things people can do such as regularly cleaning surfaces, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze and binning tissues as soon as they are used.
“People need to be aware that the strain of flu virus changes every year which is why you need to have the vaccine every year. I’d not only encourage those who are eligible to get the jab, but also anyone who is a carer of someone in an at risk group.”
Whilst flu will usually clear up on its own amongst healthy people, the effects amongst such groups as older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition or those with weakened immune systems can be severe.
These can include a bacterial chest infection or pneumonia which can occasionally become life threatening.
More information on flu and details of who is eligible for a free vaccination is available from the NHS Bournemouth and Poole and NHS Dorset websites or by contacting your GP.
Who Can Get A Free Vaccination
THE flu vaccine is offered free of charge to people who are at risk to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You are eligible to receive a free flu vaccine if you:
- Are 65 years of age or over (including those who will be 65 by March 31, 2013)
- Are pregnant (including women who become pregnant during the flu season)
- Have a certain medical condition
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- Are in receipt of a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill n are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact or a social care worker